Embracing Discomfort to Get What You Want

March 25, 2020

Exploring the 10 Dimensions of Life

Challenges happen in life, no matter what you do. They’re unavoidable – even if you’re a hermit living alone in a cave. Moreover, most of us instinctively don’t like challenges, because they often leave us vulnerable to undesirable outcomes. This is why far too many people reach their personal comfort zone and vow to never leave.

As experienced business leaders, we are frustrated by such a perspective, as we’ve seen far too many promising careers and companies derailed by avoiding challenging situations. These seemingly talented individuals and up-and-coming businesses don’t seek a better life because they’re afraid of change.

But maybe that’s not you. You realize that it takes proper skills and a strong mindset to work through any uncomfortable times that come your way. That’s why you actively seek out challenges and changes because you know that’s the only way to pursue and experience true growth.

Most importantly, you know that only YOU can make it happen. Welcome to The Discomfort Zone. Once you discover how it can transform your life, your current norms will not do.

What IS The Discomfort Zone?

As we’ve discussed in our 2020 blog posts, The Discomfort Zone* (TDZ) shouldn’t be something you flee in fear. As we hope to show you and others, it should be the place where you can explore multiple facets of your life. Our program is a blend of an evidence-based approach borrowed from TDZ LLC, Duke Integrative Medicine, concepts from The Kaizen Way, the Scaling Up performance platform, Burst Consulting LLC, and decades of shared experience running seven companies.  

When you enroll in TDZ, you will gain a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of the universe so that you can find the sweet spot of passion, bandwidth, and opportunity that exists in your life. As an integral part of this process, you will set micro-goals designed to spark the change process that will bring you closer to your vision.  

After the completion of the program, TDZ continues to collaborate with you, checking for those times when you may be tempted to revert to the comfort of your old habits. We will provide continued support through an accountability system until the uncomfortable becomes your new comfortable.

In short, we’ll help you embrace the challenge.

Examining the 10 Dimensions of Life

In our January 2020 blog post, we said the first step in navigating The Discomfort Zone is an exploration of what we call the “Dimensions of Life.” Initially developed by Duke Integrative Medicine as the “Wheel of Health,” we will spend the rest of this post providing our definitions of those 10 life dimensions. In out next post, we’re going to show you how to view these dimensions through the lens of your vision, core values, and purpose.

Movement / Exercise

The human body is designed to be in motion. It strengthens our bones, muscles, and psyche. Movement and exercise keep you strong, flexible, and restored while also providing the energy you need to do everything you want.

Sleep / Rest

Your body does much of the repair and regeneration it needs during deep sleep. Unfortunately, studies show that this sort of sleep eludes many of us. This lack of sleep can feed into a chronic fatigue cycle.

Getting true sleep and rest for your body includes falling asleep at a consistent time every night, sleeping through the night, taking regular rest breaks during the day for energy conservation, and recovery time between workouts.


Research reveals that Americans are often overfed and undernourished. However, information overload surrounding the topic of food can make it hard to identify your best way forward. A healthy diet both feeds and protects you from many illnesses, while a poorly balanced diet can make you vulnerable to disease and illness.

This is more than a debate about “carbs or no carbs.” It’s about finding what’s right for you. It’s about determining what helps your metabolism, fits your lifestyle, and feeds both your body and your soul.

Relationships / Communication

One of the most satisfying things in life is connecting and bonding with others. However, relationships can be challenging to cultivate and hard to sustain, and our needs and expectations may change over time.

Open, respectful communication can have a significant and positive effect on your health and vitality. By honestly evaluating your relationships, you can first minimize or reevaluate choices that do not serve your best interests and then invest in positive connections with people who give you energy.

Career / Personal Development

This includes all the activities that provide overall meaning and purpose in your life. Your definition of what that means is unique to you. It may include your chosen profession, volunteering, and any combination of life goals that bring you joy and fulfillment.

Creating your personal definition requires a deeper look at what work-life balance means to you. It also factors in your sense of purpose, as this is one of the key components of optimal health and well-being.

Spirituality / Connection to Universe

Spirituality is the capacity for you to find purpose and meaning in life that’s something larger than just you, including a deep sense of connection to and with that bigger entity.

For some, prayer or formalized religion is a form of spirituality. For others, it can be found walking in nature, being at the ocean, or sharing time with those closest to us. Some even express their spirituality through mindful practices, acts of kindness, and compassion.

However you experience it, spirituality can make the tough times more bearable. Exploring this connection may help you find more ways to enhance your health and well-being.

Mindfulness / Self Awareness

The natural human capacity for awareness centered in the present moment, mindfulness means you’re paying attention on purpose, without judging in any way. Self-awareness is about focusing your external mindfulness on yourself. It includes your ability to notice your feelings, physical sensations, reactions, habits, behaviors, and thoughts.

By noticing what is happening within yourself, you can choose how to respond to situations – including not responding. With this increased awareness, you can respond to changes in your life in proactive and engaged ways. Each person has their own way of being mindful, and it also may evolve and change over time to enhance your overall vitality.

Physical Environment

Your living and working surroundings – AKA wherever you spend the most time – can affect your overall wellbeing. Spaces that are not personally satisfying, or perhaps cluttered or dark, can cause stress and hinder relaxation and comfort. By bringing order to your surroundings, which can often include paying attention to senses such as light, noise, color, and odors, you can create environments that nurture your mind and reduce stress.

Financial Environment

Do your finances contribute to stress in your life? Do they strain relationships? Or are you living in a comfortable financial climate that meets your needs and fulfills your sense of security?

Not only does everyone has different needs and wants, but they also have different values for how those needs and wants are expressed, pursued and achieved. In short, we each have different definitions of financial security, so it’s essential that we examine your financial health.

Stress Management / Self-Care

Think of this as how you manage your feelings of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Self-care is any activity we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.

This mind-body connection happens on both a physical and a chemical level where one's thoughts, emotions, or spiritual practices can directly affect the way the body functions. Thus, proper stress management and self-care include incorporating preventative measures as well as taking appropriate interventions through conventional medicine as well as complementary approaches.

Are you interested in exploring how the 10 dimensions intersect with and impact your personal and employee’s Discomfort Zone? Do you think it’s time for you to take your business inside the Discomfort Zone so you can pursue real and lasting growth for you and your employees? Contact us for a free consultation today!